Microsoft forms health services alliance

Microsoft and 15 partner companies, including Unisys and EDS,
announced a new working alliance intent on forging technology
architecture for the Heath and Human Services market. The aim of
the alliance is to connect disparate state and jurisdictional
health and human services systems to help providers have a single
comprehensive view into citizen and customer needs.


The alliance, which was announced June 12 at the Government
Health IT Conference and Exhibition, will combine applications,
information infrastructure and delivery expertise to accelerate
efforts to bridge legacy programs.


The group will use version 2.0 of the Microsoft Connected Health
and Human Services Framework, released this week. The framework
details the core infrastructure requirements based on the Windows
family of servers, tools and applications for integration,
security, collaboration, reporting and analysis.


Launch partners include ACS, Atlanta; Avanade, Seattle; CGI, Fairfax, Va.; EDS,
Plano, Texas; ESRI, Redlands, Calif.; Harmony Information Systems,
Reston, Va.; IDV Solutions, Lansing, Mich.; MidTech Partners,
Centennial, Colo.; Netsmart Technologies, Great River, N.Y.; Nets
To Ladders, Austin, Texas; NWN Corp., Waltham, Mass.; Plexis
Healthcare Systems, Ashland, Ore.; Saber Government Solutions (an
EDS company), Portland, Ore.; Unisys, Blue Bell, Pa.; and
VisionWare Ltd., Glasgow, Scotland.


'The extensive engagement of current and future partners
in this framework will allow all of our state customers to provide
a holistic approach to serving the citizens with whom they are
engaging,' said Bill O'Leary, executive director of HHS
for the U.S. Public Sector at Microsoft Corp. 'This group of
partners is coming together to put a stake in the ground around
connecting information technology and cross-agency processes so
citizens are the beneficiaries of top-notch service.'


HHS expenditures constitute as much as 40 percent of state
budgets. Rising Medicaid costs are adding to those budgets each
year. Many HHS agencies, departments and programs, however, remain
disconnected both in terms of information technology and internal
processes. Those problems are compounded by layers of legacy
systems that support services to the same individuals or families
but which typically have little or no ability to reference each
other.


The alliance expects to take advantage of a variety of ongoing
solutions from current and future partner companies. Additional
details are at http://www.microsoft.com/industry/government/health/hhs.mspx


About the Author

Wyatt Kash served as chief editor of GCN (October 2004 to August 2010) and also of Defense Systems (January 2009 to August 2010). He currently serves as Content Director and Editor at Large of 1105 Media.

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